The Bargello National Museum is housed in the ancient Palazzo della Podestà in Florence which, with the Royal Decree of the 22nd of June 1865, became the first Italian National Museum dedicated to the arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Starting from that same year, some of the most important Renaissance sculptures, including masterpieces by Donatello, Luca Della Robbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and Cellini, mostly coming from the Medici-Grand Ducal collection, were moved into the palace. Later, the museum was enriched with superb examples of bronzes, majolicas, waxes, enamels, medals, ivories, tapestries, seals and textiles, many of them coming from the Medici collections, suppressed convents and private donors.
The Museum unfolds on all three floors of the building. On the ground floor, you can admire the fascinating overall view of the courtyard and the Michelangelo Room with sculptures by Buonarroti, Cellini, Giambologna and Ammannati.
On the first floor, we can see the imposing Sala di Donatello with the most acclaimed works by Florentine artists (David, Attis, San Giorgio, Marzocco just to name a few), the majolica sculptures by Luca Della Robbia and bronze artworks by Ghiberti and Brunelleschi. On this same floor, we can also admire collections of Islamic art, paintings and statues from the Carrand donation, the Chapel (with the oldest effigy of Dante Alighieri), the Sala degli Avori, the Sala del Trecento and the Sala delle Maioliche Italiane.
On the top floor, we can see one of the main collections of masterpieces by Andrea and Giovanni Della Robbia, as well as the Sala dei Bronzetti, the Sala di Verrocchio, the Sala del Medagliere and the Sala dell’Armeria, where surviving pieces of the Medici’s army’s armoury are exhibited.